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I’m a horrible loanee, really I am. Never lend me anything. It actually makes me uncomfortable, because I know that I will be beholden to it and hyperventilate when I find some long ago borrowed item floating around my house and know that the owner has been not mentioning it but undoubtedly thinking ‘That punk ass bitch Wendy still has my Bodeans CD! Damn her all to hell’. Must keep straight face’ must not let her know I now hate her filthy rotten guts.’

I think it all hearkens back to the great library book scandal of my childhood, when the Brown County Central Library refused to loan me a book for the entirety of 1979, insisting that I was harboring a book called ‘Little‘. This was in the day of hand written notations, undoubtedly upon a stone tablet using a chisel. I was completely puzzled, because I knew, I KNEW that I had never read a book with such an insipid title of ‘Little‘. It just seemed to scream Kindergarten and I was a very worldly and posh girl of fourth grade standing.

Finally, using my superior fourth grade powers of deduction, gleaned from surreptitious readings of Encyclopedia Brown seated in the Children’s Library on Saturdays, when the furnace was set to 112 and brightly colored tissue paper fishes swam languidly in the Amazonian heat, I thought about the book I had checked out months ago, found excruciatingly dull and abandoned by page 15, but dutifully returned called ‘Little Vic’. I asked the Librarian who the author was and she confirmed that the authoritative stone tablet of Children’s Library deadbeats listed D. Gates as the author, I was smugly able to present her with their copy of ‘Little Vic‘, still containing my signature and stamp of return in the little card pocket. She shrugged and expunged my record without even so much as a ‘I’m sorry about that, dearie’ or ‘Here, you may check out more than the Nazi regime limit of three books per child to make up for our grievous error!’ Or maybe ‘Curses, foiled again, Holmes! Must you always disrupt our devious plots!?’

And yes, I guess you could say that I’m still a little bitter. And the sight of brightly colored art projects in January makes me a little overheated and filled with a sense of proletariat injustice.